In the last post, we talked about how we do our Group Class programming. We want everyone to know that it’s structured, not just on a weekly, but yearly basis. We put a great deal of time into making sure that it’s getting the group as a whole making progress continually.
But, we realize that there are members in the gym that feel like the Group programming isn’t doing it for them. John is getting many questions about specialized programming. Others are furiously knocking out burpees in the corner post-WOD because they didn’t quite puke on that particular workout. Some struggle with a handful of movements, feeling like they’re spinning their wheels instead of making progress on that one thing.
For this next post, we’re going to look at whether or not you need a specific change in programming or skill/movement development progressions, and why you might need general adjustments to your programming to continue making progress.
Programming or Progressions?
Many of you are making great progress in your benchmark times, you’re generally getting stronger, but those HSPU, pull-ups, or muscle-ups are still giving you a hard time. Some may naturally come by a skill, and semi-frequent practice mid-workout may be enough to develop it. But everyone will likely find a few things that don’t come so easily. Customized programming encompasses a great deal more than that, manipulating the volume and intensity of your lifts and metcons, while constantly rotating through movements to make sure your goals are addressed. Simply put, if things are going pretty well, but you’re just stuck on a few movements/skills, you need a structured progression, nothing more. We’re working right now on compiling the progressions we’ve found that have worked best for people, and will soon make those available. Work 2-3 progressions at a time for continued progress.
As a side note, if you find that, within your first year or CrossFit, you’re not hitting new PRs nearly every time you retest a lift or benchmark with us, you probably don’t necessarily need progressions or programming adjustments. You need to look at:
All of those are within your control, outside of strength development. We lift constantly, and have not seen anyone has not continued to make progress on our progressions for 1-2 years without making adjustments. Which brings us to talking about…
Do I need “Advanced” Programming?
We all have a genetic potential – a theoretical limit under ideal conditions towards achieving a particular physical goal. When we’re far away from that limit, new to training towards that goal, small, non-specific stress will push you closer to your goal and your genetic potential. As we get closer to that limit, progress not only slows, but the training complexity has to increase to make progress.
We run through a few basic lifting progressions. Some of you now have been through multiple 3×5 progressions on the Squat, Bench/Press, and Deadlift. Initially, rate of adaptation if fast, some of you even notice that your 3×5′s are getting easier even while the loads are increasing! But, over time, progress slows. You’ve probably noticed that each progression has yielded slightly smaller gains. It is unavoidable that progress generally slows the closer you get to genetic potential. But over time, you’ll cease to adapt to a set training protocol(accommodation), and require a more careful and varied manipulation of training variables like intensity, volume, frequency, and exercise selection.
The extremely varied nature of CrossFit means that accommodation can take a very long time to happen, even under ideal conditions. Many won’t reach this place with our group class programming; recovery issues, inconsistent attendance, poor diet will hold you back, and you’ll continue to find progress as you make improvements there.
We value strength a great deal, and want even our long-term members to continue making progress there. So, the Advanced programming will most importantly address increasing strength through more frequent lifting and more and changing of training variables taking into account the needs of those who have been training for multiple years. Past that, we’ll more specifically tackle movements frequently seen in competition, and look more closely at advanced skills.
The next post will detail the rules/procedures for participating in the Advanced programming, but by now, you should have a good idea of where you fit into our programming scheme. Ask yourself:
- How long have I been training?
- Am I continuing to make progress across multiple lifting progressions?
- How is my diet and recovery?
- Is my issue programming related, or do I need just need to work through some skill/movement progressions?
Think about the above, and next time, we’ll be wrapping up our info on the new Advanced class programming.